I have gone across land borders before. Many times in fact but only in Europe. Things are slightly different in South America and forms do my head in. I then had somebody on the bus wanting me to answer a questionnaire, only all of the questions were in Spanish and I had to answer in Spanish. When asked how old I was I genuinely answered “dos, tres” as I didn’t know what 20 was in Spanish. Forms make me sad.
I was cheered up by a podcast I was listening to at this time, which I then shared with Alicia. It was a podcast between Adam Buxton and Louis Theroux and there was a section where Louis Theroux sings “oh yes sir, I can boogie, but I need a certain song” falsetto. I highly recommend it if you need a pick-me-up.
When we got off the bus we had to go through the border control and walk through basically a no-mans land for a few hundred metres. Mildly terrifying and very bizarre, I’m incredibly thankful I had Alicia’s company for this! The bus then took us onto Copacabana (not the hottest spot north of Havana unfortunately, we were very much south of there). I did have to have a photo taken with me and the sign as the Manilow song is a huge favourite with the family (side note: when I was little my dad and I recreated a music video replacing the lyrics with: ‘her name was Molly, she was a show-go, she went out in the rain cos she didn’t have a brain, it was pouring and very boring, rain and bad weather at down our little lane’. Video included me singing under an umbrella and him pouring a watercan to create a rain effect)
I had started to feel better since my bout of illness in Cusco and Puno and my appetite was screaming “MOLLY EAT SOMETHING”. So I had a massive breakfasty brunch and order so many drinks. Also, the place we sat at had interesting cushion seats.
Who knows what’s going on between the man and the llama in the last picture, I hope it’s legal anyway. We then got on a boat to the Isla Del Sol which is in the middle of Lake Titicaca. Turns out they fully pack the boat and therefore there wasn’t much room for us and the bags. Still, comfortable enough that we both slept most of the way.
Before going to South America I had looked up what Isla Del Sol looked like. Of course the pictures made it look stunning but it actually looked like that in real life!
We had to climb a hell of a lot of crazy stairs to get to our hostel.
When we arrived we were shown to our room which was a little hut. It was very sweet!
What happened next doesn’t seem weird on reflection but at the time Alicia and I thought it was all bloody weird. So there were 3 people at the hostel other than us, the 3 were a grandmother, mother and daughter who we named chica sin internet, chica con internet and teeny chica respectively. Chica sin internet welcomed us to the hostel and coudln’t help us with the wifi at the time. When her daughter arrived, chica con internet, she was able to help us out but she wouldn’t allow us to see the password so she had to enter that individually. Alicia and I found this hilarious but I totally understand why she kept it secret.
After the internet faff had been resolved I decided to go to the toilet which was situated outside. Anyway, as I open the door to leave the bathroom a rope trailing on the floor and subsequently chica con internet running after it. I looked down the path and saw several donkeys running away. I went back to the little hut where I could see Alicia looking out of the window absolutely gobsmacked. What we had seen could have easily been accompanied by the Benny Hill theme tune. I fell onto my bed crying with laughter.
And what a view to have a laugh from. No sun but beautiful all the same.
We decided to chill a little and then find a place to have dinner. When it got dark we had a little walk and after a while we realised that when the last boat went back to Copacabana that was the time when everything shut. The tourists were gone so why keep the places open? That’s correct, Alicia and I were about to go hungry. That was until I remembered that I persistently kept hold of the pizza I didn’t eat in Puno! Alicia and I had 3 slices each (she had one that she sat on so we called it the bum pizza)
The next morning chica con internet made us breakfast which was lovely and we met teeny chica! She was ever so adorable and we all managed to get on really well despite the overwhelming language barrier. And what I mean by “getting on really well” was mainly that we all managed to make incredible “OM NOM NOM” noises while eating our breakfast. But, I thought optimistically about my health and soon realised the eggs weren’t agreeing with me 😦
Sun had appeared and we then got on the boat after breakfast and headed back to Copacabana to get the bus to La Paz. Again, on trend, the journey had spectacular views.
It occurred to us that the journey from Copacabana to La Paz couldn’t be done solely on the road. There was water in the way. There’s isn’t a bridge but there are a lot of boats and even floats large enough to take a coach across. I thought it was so bizarre and the passenger boat was the most rocky boat I’ve ever been on. As if my body wasn’t being tested enough.
While we waited for the coach to get to our side we had an ice cream and saw these super cool llamas.
On the road to La Paz! Only the roads were blocked off due to road works and therefore we had to go off-road. It was hideous and it took an extra hour to get to La Paz because of that and traffic.
Isla Del Sol didn’t have much in the way of sun and the bikini lounging we were hoping for. In fact it was the coldest I had been on this trip. Nevertheless, I would recommend a visit. It’s a beautiful island and for god’s sake if you have to stay there bring food and stay at Hostal Jacha Intl.